Cruising takes advantage of the fact that you can visit more places in a short amount of time and usually at a much lower cost than it would be to pay for separate vacations of flights, hotels, and food. Dream destinations may be far apart or small enough to conquer in a day. For all the above reasons we chose to visit Greece by cruise ship from the port of Venice, which also offers destinations like Croatia, France, Spain, and Turkey.
For cruising in general, going in the off season will save money, but you should also be aware of other factors such as weather conditions and holidays. For Greece the tourist season begins much earlier than it does elsewhere in Europe. By booking our cruise for the beginning of May we avoided the crowds and saved on cruise fare, but water temperatures were too cold for swimming.
Which cruise line?
Large cruise lines are known for their amenities, dining, and entertainment to keep you busy throughout the cruise. Several large cruise lines like Costa, MSC, and Norwegian cruise right out of Venice.
Smaller cruise lines that are local to Greece or the Mediterranean have fewer bells and whistles, mainly focusing on getting you to each destination. Smaller cruise lines can be money savers, but they may not have all the luxuries of a large cruise line.
Other deciding factors include the port of departure, trip itinerary, and cruise line reviews.
Many first time cruisers believe they have to go through a travel agent or travel website to book a cruise. Often times you can book directly through the cruise line either online or over the phone. It helps to sign up for e-mail notifications when special promotions are going on or browse current offers.
Don’t forget you might be eligible for special discounts like senior citizen or military discounts, often asked upon booking. For military discounts also check out MilitaryCruiseDeals.com, as they claim to offer the best deals for military and their families.
For last minute cruise deals check out VacationsToGo.com, which shows the lowest price of all cruises departing within the next 90 days. Use it only as a search engine, but then book your cruise directly through the cruise line.
I love to use TripAdvisor for most of my planning, but for the cruise I also took advantage of the wisdom on CruiseCritic.com. I was able to choose the exact cruise line, ship, and ports visited to get reviews about everything from the ship itself to the actual ports. I even read reviews on my exact cabin number before choosing our room.
I found out what people thought of the ports, helpful hints on going ashore, and what cruisers did with their time at port. I could participate in forums, ask questions, and join the cruise "roll call" to find other cruisers going on the same journey.
- Cruise Terminal, near Marittima and San Basilio piers
- Venice Marco Polo Airport, arrivals hall near post office
- Venice Santa Lucia Railroad Station, near track 1
- Piazzale Roma (bus/taxi plaza), near People Mover
- Venezia Terminal Passeggeri S.P.A. (V.T.P.) www.vtp.it
- Rate: 95,00 euro per week (Day 1-8), 10,00 per day after day 8
- Reservations are highly recommended!!
- Prepare for lots of traffic on cruise departure days!
Stazione Marittima Pier
Large cruise lines like Costa, MSC, and Norwgian normally use the main Marittima pier. Smaller ships often use San Basilio pier.
Getting To/From Airport
- Coach bus (with luggage space underneath): 30 minutes, arrives in Piazzale Roma bus terminal, then taxi cab or People Mover to the pier.
- Public buses are even cheaper, but they do not allow large luggage.
- Taxi cab: 20-30 minutes, 60,00 euro
- Water taxi: 60 minutes, 100,00 euro
- From Mestre Railway station, the Port of Venice can be reached by:
- Taxi cab: 10-20 minutes, 40,00 euro
- Public bus arriving in Piazzale Roma bus terminal, then taxi cab or people mover to the pier
- From St. Lucia Railway station, the terminals can be reached by
- Public water buses (vaporetti) to Piazzale Roma (1 stop), then taxi cab or People Mover to the pier
- Walk to Ponte di Constituzione pedestrian bridge (glass/metal) to Piazzale Roma (bus plaza), then taxi cab or people mover to the pier to .
Piazzale Roma to Marittima Pier
- A free shuttle bus normally runs on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays during the cruise season. Cruise ship names will be displayed in the bus window and depart every 30 minutes or when full.
- You can walk to Marittima from the Piazzale Roma in 10 to 15 minutes. Just follow the road that leads to the causeway and turn left at the port entrance after you cross the railroad tracks
- Taxi cab: 3 minute ride, 5 euro
- People Mover
- The entrance is on the corner of a public parking garage where you can see the People Mover's platforms above the street. A few meters from Ca' Doge and Santa Chiara hotel
- One-way ticket for €1,30 Accepts coins and credit cards.
- Scan the ticket barcode at the turnstiles and take the escalator or elevator upstairs to the platforms.
- Get off at Marittima (the first station) and go downstairs via the escalator or lift.
- Follow signs for the cruise terminal